Dr. Stapleton Named Interim Dean of the College of Education

May 25th, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I write to let you know that I am appointing Professor Laura Stapleton as Interim Dean of the College of Education, effective August 11, 2021. Dean Jennifer King Rice will step down from her role as Dean of the college on August 10, 2021 to assume her new position as Senior Vice President and Provost at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Rice leaves her leadership role in the College of Education after four years of exemplary service as dean. During that time, as you know, the college has advanced in nearly every area of research, education, outreach, and partnerships climbing substantially in prestige and impact. Dean Rice has cultivated a culture of achievement and impact at the College of Education for which we are deeply grateful.

Dr. Laura Stapleton, professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, has served as Associate Dean for Research, Innovation, and Partnerships in the College of Education since January 2019. In that role she has built an infrastructure to support faculty in securing funding to conduct their impactful research. Under her leadership, research awards and expenditures in the college have reached their highest levels in recent history, positioning the College of Education among the top five at the university in terms of funded research. She has stewarded partnerships including those with the Baltimore Education Research Consortium, the newly founded District of Columbia Education Research Collaborative, and the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center. In 2017-18, she chaired the college’s strategic planning steering committee, so she is well positioned to continue to advance key goals and priorities in the college. 

Dr. Stapleton is an accomplished and well-regarded scholar. Her research focuses on evaluating existing, and developing new, statistical models necessary for turning data into information for shaping education and policy research. Dr. Stapleton’s research record is impressive; she is a prolific scholar and has garnered over $8.5 million in federal grant funds as PI or Co-I, and over $500,000 in contracts. She has authored or co-authored more than 50 journal articles, co-edited two books, and contributed to over a dozen book chapters. She has served on the faculty of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences’ Summer Institute on Cluster Randomized Trials and is currently serving as the Director of the National Science Foundation Quantitative Research Methods for STEM Education Scholars Program. She has held Associate Editor positions with leading education journals and has served on, and chaired, many federal agency review panels including those of IES, NSF and NIMH. Her expertise in her field has been widely acknowledged and her commitment to students honored. In 2000, she received the coveted Educational Testing Service’s Gulliksen Psychometric Fellowship, was elected to the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology in 2016. And, here on campus, she has been awarded the College’s Excellence in Teaching award, and honored as Faculty Mentor of the Year and Outstanding Director of Graduate Studies by the UMD Graduate School.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Stapleton on her new position, thanking her for her willingness to take on this new role, and offering her your support and assistance as she generously assumes these new administrative responsibilities. A search for a permanent Dean of the College of Education will be announced in the coming months.

Sincerely,

Ann G. Wylie

Interim Senior Vice President and Provost

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Laura Stapleton